Coyote Scat Collections –  Remote Locations in North America


Carnivores are very important species ecologically and culturally, but they tend to be very elusive, rare, or both, making direct observations and scientific study difficult. Recent technical and analytical advances have allowed wildlife biologists to sample carnivore populations non-invasively, for example, by extracting DNA from fecal remains. Much can be learned from fecal DNA, including migration rates, demographic structure, presence of hybrids, etc. A large-scale adventurer-scientist collaboration to sample carnivores can enhance appreciation of the scientific enterprise for the general public, fill in knowledge gaps for the research community, and improve conservation for imperiled wildlife. 

Volunteer hikers/backpackers will collect scat samples for future genetic analyses. Collecting one sample and associated geo-habitat data may take about 2-5 minutes, depending on the size of the party. Additionally, only a few grams are necessary to extract a good amount of DNA, so the samples should not impose a cumulative weight burden on the hiker.

How will this data be used?

The scats will be processed for genetic analyses, first for species ID, second for individual ID. Once enough individuals of one species are identified, population-level analyses will be conducted. These include analyses of population structure, differentiation, inbreeding, landscape connectivity, etc.

To Participate in this study, please tell us about your expedition.

File Size: 123 kb
File Type: pdf

Download File

File Size: 134 kb
File Type: pdf

Download File

View Our Other Projects